Hortense Hears A Who...


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Scene Title Hortense Hears A Who…
Synopsis …The hell is that thing sitting on my bowsprit? That's a Bao, come to make sure Hortense is alive and well.
Date February 15, 2011

North Cove Marina - Hortense's Boat

Hortense has been back a couple days now. Cops had taken a look, paramedics had come and the brunette had been carted off within half an hour of Bao's impromptu game in the marina.

Ever since she'd been back though, it was with far more caution, that Hortense lived on her boat. Every thump brought the masseuse topside, new lantern, blowtorch and wary look. Each time though, it was nothing and she had settled back into normal life. Int he north cove marina rests her boat, bobbing in the water, late hour, and she's crawling into her bed.

This was about the same time of night that she first had trouble with her pump, she'll recall- when she hears a new set of thumps along the side of the boat. The difference is that there is more than one this time, so it isn't a stray buoy or a particularly heavy lolling of water. A new, more interesting- ramp ramp tut tut tut clack clack- trailing across one side of the boat before disappearing again.

Not again.

Hortense hears something and maybe it is a who. Possibly. maybe.

She follows that trail of sounds alongside her boat, inwardly quaking. She wasn't crazy, that goosegg on the back of her head wasn't causing some mother fucking figment of her imagination. Toe followed by rest of foot is placed on the floor and she's padding through her vessel as quietly as possibly, pausing only long enough to grab an oar.

It's crossed her mind that it might be one of her neighbours being an asshole.

The cabin door creaks open and Hortense is poking her head outside, breath curling up and out into the atmosphere as she looks around. "If you're some asshole teenager, you better fuck off before I call the cops and they arrest your ass for curfew violation"

There is silence for a few passing moments, likely enough time for her to continue to step out if she must. The air is much, much colder than the last time she stepped out to look, and there is an awkward dryness to it.

"Well… they can try…" The voice comes from behind her. From on the roof of the cabin. When she looks for the source, what she is first met with is that dully luminous eye peering back at her, its pupil having contracted in the dark to light. The thing is much, much smaller than the last time; that's not to say it does not at least look similar, with its long face and bristly winter whiskers, but the coils and long, swimming limbs have been shod in favor of a single loop of spine, and precarious, bird-like feet. The place he perches seems to have frosted over underneath of him, in a layer of shiny, fresh ice.

"Won't do a terrible lot of good…" Bao-Wei mutters this time, mouth scraping closed.
To her credit, Hortense doesn't scream this time. She just stands there, fish mouthed at the sight that Bao presents on the cabin.

Takes her about five seconds to come to her senses and the oar is swinging through the air like her lantern did, only she keeps holding onto the oar and putting all the force she has into the attempted attack.

To his credit, that ice is hard as a rock. When the oar smacks down on his face, it all but rings back up her arm and down her back- if it were a bat she'd be a tuning fork. The paddle splinters the more delicate parts of his face, and bristles shatter off of his upper neck, but when the oar moves away it doesn't seem to have actually done anything to the main portion of his head. At best, his expression stays as flat as it was; that eye has shaded over with some sort of film, which now slips back down into the cavern of his socket.

"Do you mind?" Come on, now.
"You're on my boat"

Her hands hurt and her arms, and it's just… god that sucked. She looks like she might wind up for another hit, or maybe scream and yell, bellow about rape and hope someone comes down and sees this. That she's not suffering from a concussion.

She isn't, right?

Hortense backs up, grey eyes still wide. "You're on my boat.. why are you on my boat, you.. you are not supposed to be on my boat, I did not invite you onto my boat, isn't there like some kind of monster etiquette, that you can't cross the threshold of someones home until, until they invite you in?" She's pointing a finger at him the whole time, jabbing it in his direction for emphasis every second words that spills from her mouth.

"That rule applies to vampires, not ice golems." A crust of frost also managed to wipe off onto the oar, and it crumbles off bit by bit. He lifts up one set of talons to rake at his face, dusting off a layer of crumbled ice and seething out a plume of cold air. "Or ice mimics. What have you. I am not certain."

"Yes, I am on your boat. Yes, I was the one messing with it a few days ago." Bao-Wei begins, eye roaming to look up towards the dock lights, head swiveling back to look down at her after a moment of that. For her sake, it is probably good that it is bleeding out a clear intelligence; if it were simply a troublesome thing, he may not have stopped to actually speak to her and instead just cut his losses. "I did not mean to cause an incident. There are not many people living in boats, in winter."

"Oh" Only applies to vampires. That makes perfect sense. Like, standing on the deck of your boat with two hands gripping an oar as if you're ready to bat the ice golem off your roof.

It waves, wobbles back and forth as if she can't decide whether she's going to attempt to smack him… her… it? "There's three of us. This slip, three down on the left and then across the way in slip twelve." Is he going to go break into them now? Her feet are wide, providing a stable base in case it… it? decides to lunge at her. "Ice Golem?"

"Ah." It is a very simple response. All four legs pry themselves free of the ice, and his head bobs down while he climbs nose-first down the side of the cabin roof and skitters onto the deck. He's longer than he is tall, it looks like; he loops up across the deck and brings his feet together at the bow-end, to sit there and look over at the young woman. His hide glistens between the moonlight and the city lights, oddly crisp when they mirror across him and cast motes of refraction on the boat, bobbing in its place.

"I don't have a better term, apart from mimic. I feel the need to explain that I am not actually a non-human. This happened to me, rather."

"You're an evolved"

It dawns on her, that this is probably more plausible than m/it being some sort of creature made real from the pages of some roleplay nerds handbook of.. fantasmagorical creatures.

"Oh god, you're an evolved. You're…" he's got cooties and as he sits on her bow like some sort of masthead, She's backing up till her back is against her cabin door. "So you like to go aroudn fucking with poeples boats and flooding them and then scaring the shit out of people? you get some sort of perverted ki- Oh god" Disgust suddenly flourishes across her face.

"Were you watching me?" ANd she's moving forward, brandishing the oar once again to bring it down on his head implusively. "You pervert!!!!"

"BAH, stupid girl-" The creature was already looking rather disgusted himself, nose rankling up and brow furrowing just before she reaches out and whacks him again. This time, however, it freezes fast onto his head, and both forelimbs reach up to snatch it and yank the end out of her grip.

"I assure you that I am not a pervert. At best, I am sexless and shall forever remain that way." Cong growls, voice ringing timbrous and his eye flickering angrily. "It gets boring when you cannot sleep during the night, when you are stuck like this- usually I am not such a nuisance, and clearly the other night was a mistake on my part."
Augh. He just… her oar.

"Well, I hope that I provided enough entertainment for you the other night, who do I send the hospital bill to and the lawsuit for what you did?" She looks dead serious, and given the climate of the city, it's no surprise.

"You better give me back my oar"

"I hadn't meant to scare you. And, I'm not the one that made you trip and fall in the water. I could have just let you drown… Nobody would have helped you, if i had not." Bao-Wei considers her oar a moment, tempted to break it in half as he leans back and upright, rear legs folding and the whip-like tail thunking against baseboards. Wherever he moves, he leaves that icy crust behind. He does not give it back to her quite yet.

"By official record, I am dead. Good luck with doing that. But I am a doctor, and I knew once I picked you out of the water that you would be fine. And here you are."

He was a doctor, declared dead. Saved her from the water. "Wait a minute… You.. you were the one that got me out of the water?" There's a look sent not towards bao but to the boat three slips down adn the man that lives there. She points to it.

"Can you go mess with his bilge pump? He said it was him who saved me"

Bao-Wei swivels his head to look, and the movement is unnatural- like an owl, whose skull can pivot virtually in a circle. When he looks back, there is a faint squint, a glint of mirth. "This water is roughly forty degrees without me in it." And you believed that guy? How offensive. "I had to literally shovel you out, but yes. How else did all that dirt show up on the dock? Perhaps he used a giant claw machine to pull you out."

"I wasn't exactly awake" She points out to the beast on her deck, having backed up against her door again, keeping distance between her and him. Evolved. She's not comfortable around them, and there's one on her deck, looking like some beast.

"So you came to apologize"

"No." Hm. Not quite. Cong flips the oar onto the deck, and it clatters across the surface. Parts of it are frozen with blotches of ice, but nothing that won't melt eventually. "I came to only make sure that you were alive and well." Because guilt is more important than remorse, sometimes.

"And I have seen that you are. Not to mention plucky about it."

Plucky gets a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth, despite that she's starting to shiver in her sweats and scrambling to get her oar back even as the boat moves with his actions.

"Plucky. Possibly. It's late, I need to sleep I have clients early in the morning, so you need to get your frozen ass off my deck and go… freeze the assholes boat or something"

Bao-Wei can understand early morning clients, though he has no clue what Hortense has clients for. For all he knows, she's a doctor too. Rather than make any new fuss, the creature tilts its head in a makeshift gesture, and clambers up over the rail, peeking once back at her.

"I won't be messing with your boat again." Which implies that he does know which one it is, at least. Though that may be unsettling, if he is ever trolling water and sees it. With this, however, it is just a moment before he coils around and is gone down the side of the hull, slipping soundlessly into the marina water.

Hortense inches over to the side that he slips over, peering, oar in hand, careful to not touch any of the metal that he had lest she find limbs stuck to it. Grey eye's scan the surface, looking for any evidence that he's there, somewhere.

oddly, for all that he's an evolved, it was interesting. How many people have had an ice mimic on their bow. Ones drinks would never be hot with him around. "What do you eat?" The last is her inner voice made outer and she clamps a sweater glad hand over her mouth before she's retreating from the side, back to her cabin door.


Hoping she'll hear an outraged cry of a neighbour or a faltering bilge pump from his direction.

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